At the house, 9:00 am: Me – We can go to breakfast at that place you saw on TV – Trails Eatery. It’s on the way to Burbank.
On the road: Me – We can get gas on base where it will be cheaper.
Barry – But there is a shell around here somewhere and we have a card for it.
Me – Yep, it’s up here on the right. Five minutes later – You can reverse to the pump behind you. That one is broken.
Mom – What’s taking so long?
Barry – The card won’t work because it’s from out-of-state and they want me to sign a prepay authorization for $50, but I’m only going to sign for $30. Then he only gets $24 in gas and has to go back in, with his receipt, to get his money back.
At the Eatery, 10:30 am, I get Elvis cakes with lemon water and coffee, Mom gets pumpkin pancakes, and Barry gets the multigrain – not his favorite.
Mom – Let me try some of yours. There’s no bananas in here. Did they forget them?
Me – You can’t take a nibble off the edge and expect massive ingredients. Get in there. Mom – Oh, that’s better (banana with peanut butter and chocolate).
On the road again, at 11:00 am: Barry – Can you call the unemployment office so we can get paid this week? (while they wait on his disability claim) I look up the number, give it to Mom, she starts to call, and we miss a turn. I will skim through the book she is reading, The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease, Related Dementias, and Memory Loss. This is a very difficult time for all involved, but I look on the bright side – Barry’s not as bad as some of the cases in here – yet.
I text Caleb that we should be in Burbank by 2:00 pm, giving us plenty of time to get where we need to be, and in doing so realize that we are here now – at 12:42 pm. It seems Barry has no gauge or awareness of speed limits. I walk us the long way around to relax and enjoy the stress-less surroundings.
At Coffee Commissary with 2 hours to wait: Mom – Jess, is that a chia seed muffin?
Me – No Mom, it’s a flaxseed muffin.
Mom to barista – We’ll take two green teas and a black tea. Do you do refills?
Barista – No mam. (This isn’t a Texas restaurant, but a California coffee shop).
Barry – Why do they call them black and green teas when they’re brown and yella?
Me – The leaves started out that color and then changed when brewed.
From 3:00 – 5:30 pm: We walk to the studio, sit on a bench for 30 minutes, walk over and up the stairs, and are seated on Leno’s left near the middle. There’s a Q&A and photos with Leno. There is a man who will get us laughing and hand out prizes during the show. Charlie Sheen’s skit is full of drugs and sex. Joy Behar, woman from The View, wasn’t as funny as Mom expected. But the dancing from the singer of Neon Trees was good.
The show is literally an hour. Behind the scenes pictures are taken, gifts given, fanning the sweat off their faces, previewing the prompter boards, and reapplying makeup. Laughs are encouraged, but there is no light-up sign for them. The applause sign comes on when the camera may be showing the audience when going to and from commercial.
A lady stole a seat while the person had gone to the bathroom. A man, on his way out, took a picture. I’m not sure if security caught up with him. Near the exit another man took a photo, just out of view of the guard that had a full view of me. The Studio doesn’t want any pictures taken inside the building, at all.
At the car, 5:17 pm, I text Caleb that we are on our way to Oki Dog to pick up his pastrami burrito. At 5:47 pm, I text him again to let him know that we drove to the wrong address (right number, wrong city). It will take us another 30 minutes to drive to the little orange building on Fairfax Ave in West Hollywood. We get two burritos to-go so Mom can try one.
Luckily, Z Pizza, dinner for tonight, is only a mile away. They have locations in 16 states, D.C., Dubai, and Vietnam. One of those happens to be on Slaughter Lane in Austin, Texas – one of Barry’s favorites. I order the two veggie slices in the warmer – tomato basil and artichoke spinach with an Izze at 6:45 pm.
Me – Why don’t you get one of these? It’s sparkling grapefruit?
Mom – I don’t like the way those taste anymore.
They got a large ZBQ chicken pizza with water. Mom and I got red velvet cupcakes, no cream cheese frosting, and Barry got vanilla.
Me – Did you tell them no cilantro?
Mom to cook – Is it too late for no cilantro? To me – thanks for reminding me.
Me – No problem. (Though I wonder if they would’ve let me take it home to Caleb).
Less than three hours later and we are home. Caleb has duty tonight. The burritos are still warm, so Mom takes a half and shares it with the dogs at 10:00 pm. She decides she doesn’t like pastrami and gives the other half to Caleb. She will play solitaire on the couch until she passes out, eventually making her way to bed before morning.